Huddersfield Daily Examiner (04/Feb/1952) - Indifference Caused Flood at Holmfirth Says Vicar

This page is part of the Holmfirth Flood Project which aims to make content available to researchers in advance of the 175th anniversary of the 1852 Flood which will be commemorated in 2027.
The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.

Indifference Caused Flood at Holmfirth — Says Vicar

The "couldn't-care-less" attitude was strongly condemned by the Vicar of Holmfirth (the Rev. A. T. Dangerfield) at Holmfirth Parish Church yesterday when a service was held to mark the centenary of the bursting of the Bilberry Reservoir.

"The dam at Bilberry burst not because they were such wicked people in this valley that God wanted to punish them; it burst because of a great evil, which is present also today. That is the attitude of 'I couldn't care less' — 'Never bother. It'll be reight.' And unless we repent we shall likewise perish." the Vicar declared.

"Indifference, slackness and neglect seem to be the real causes of the tragedy which today we are remembering." the Vicar went on. "If those who had accepted responsibility for the building and maintenance of the dam had given proper heed to their duty everything would have been all right. There was really no excuse, for this area has had many floods in its time.

"It cannot be believed that no one in authority had not heard of previous floods or thought of future ones. They probably did think of them, but they obviously did not heed. They rejected the warnings of the past and paid little attention to the future.


The modern generation said. "I couldn't care less." For some time that attitude had been growing. and all around there was evidence of it. From all around were heard reports of indifference to duty and responsibility. Often people were exhorted to demand their rights, but how often were they told to do their duty?

"The lessons of the flood of 1852 are written for all to read." declared the vicar, "It is a sad tale of indifference, of negligence and of 'I couldn't care less.'"

Also taking part in the service were the Vicar of Holmebridge (the Rev. S. J. Streek), the Vicar of Upperthong (the Rev. D. S. Davies) and the curate of Holmfirth Parish Church (the Rev. P. F. W. Frost).

The Chairman of Holmfirth U.D.C. (Clr. H. Beever) and other members of the Council were present along with representatives of a number of local organisations.